Here we go, with the second week of my ’31 Days of Horror’ challenge: if you want to know more about it, just check my previous post, where I introduced the challenge and reviewed the first seven movies I watched in the spookiest month of the year.
What are the horror flicks I watched this week, then? There we go:
Day 8 – The Descent (Neil Marshall, 2005). In this infamous British horror flick, we follow a group of female friends going on a cave expedition. Their holiday turns promptly into a nightmare as they first get stuck in the tunnels and then are attacked by some sort of mutant vampires. So much for the holiday! I love this movie due to the intense suspense built up during the first part and the badassery of the second part. Also, the way everything looks realistic (for instance, the caves are actually a set, perfectly set up by the film crew) makes it an immersive and unforgettable experience. Other than some of the acting and the little development given to characters, I absolutely loved this flick. FINAL GRADE: 8/10
Day 9 – The Evil Within (Andrew Getty, 2017). What a uniquely weird film this is! I reviewed in the past, so you can click on the link to know more about it and about its unbelievable but all too real making process. Just to let you know how much I love The Evil Within, it ended up on my Top 10 best horror movies of 2017 list. FINAL GRADE: 8/10
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Day 10 – I Saw The Devil (Kim Jee-woon, 2010). From the director of one of my all-time favourite horror pictures (A Tale of Two Sisters, 2003), I Saw The Devil is a badass, ultra-violent South Korean thriller where a police officer, after his fiancé gets brutally killed, goes on a mission to find vengeance. Filled with themes of honour, grief, vengeance and much more, I Saw The Devil is an almost 3-hour-long ride that feels simultaneously longer (due to the graphic content and implications) and shorter (thanks to perfect pace and compelling story). Both leads, my man-crush Byung-Hun Lee (Once in a Summer and The Good, The Bad and The Weird) and Min-sik Choi (of Oldboy and The Chaser fame) are fantastic, providing the audience with intense, emotional and disturbing performances. FINAL GRADE: 10/10
Day 11 – Hellbound: Hellraiser II (Tony Randel, 1988). This is one of my all-time favourite horror sequels as well as one of the movies I watched the most. It features, in my opinion, the best performance by Doug Bradley as Pinhead in the whole franchise, as well as the best gore effects in the Hellraiser universe. The story, which is not too cool nor well written, is definitely helped by the mental atmosphere of the hellish world this movie takes place in. Although the characters aren’t always likeable nor compelling, this movie is a treat for any fan of 80s horror cinema. FINAL GRADE: 8.5/10
Day 12 – Suddenly in the Dark (Go Yeong-nam, 1981). One of the earliest examples of South Korean horror cinema, Suddenly in the Dark follows a woman who suspects her husband of infidelity, as he seems more and more attracted by the housekeeper, a young pretty girl who carries a doll with her all the time. Very surreal and slow, this film benefits from some very inventive, kaleidoscopic and prismatic cinematography that gives it an aura of mysticism. Surprisingly (as I’ve seen this movie last week for the first time), Suddenly in the Dark features some disturbingly violent and gory scenes which, in combination with a late exploitation-esque vibe, makes it an uncomfortable yet beautiful watch. Very experimental in tone, rather slow and uneventful at point, this is a really hard movie to recommend, but for me it’s one of those cases where it’ll grow on me over time. FINAL GRADE: 7.5/10
Day 13 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Chuck Russel, 1987). Does this movie need any introduction? I thought so. Other than the fact that it ignores that abomination known as Freddy’s Revenge, I appreciate this classic slasher due to the high body count, its faithful approach to the Nightmare universe set up by Wes Craven in 1984 and the inventiveness of the killings. Worthy sequel, worthy movie in general. FINAL GRADE: 8/10
Day 14 – The Creature from The Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold). By far the oldest horror flick on this list, this movie holds up surprisingly well. I reviewed it in the past for my classics of horror series, so if you want to learn more about it you should definitely click the link. For now, let me just reiterate my undying love for this piece of black&white sci-fi/horror cinema. The under-water sequences, realised with ground-breaking techniques, the charming acting, the effective practical effects, the outstandingly beautiful locations: everything comes to place in The Creature from The Black Lagoon, making it, of course, one of the horror films I love the most. FINAL GRADE: 10/10